For Immediate Release Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Contact: Rachele Huennekens, (703) 470-2454
‘ReEnergize the Vote’ Ramps up Youth-focused Get-Out-the-Vote Drive in Six Key States
Nonpartisan youth voter mobilization campaign escalates as voter registration deadlines are reached
On Tuesday, October 12, the national nonpartisan youth voter mobilization campaign ‘ReEnergize the Vote’ launched intensive get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts in Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. As state voter registration deadlines were reached in Nevada and Oregon, organizers and volunteers with ReEnergize the Vote – a landmark campaign spearheaded by the Sierra Student Coalition, an arm of the Sierra Club – shifted its focus from voter registration to increasing the turnout of thousands of young people in six key states in the upcoming elections.
"It’s been hard, tiring work, but we’ve registered thousands of Oregon college students to vote," said a Jonathan Tracy, a ReEnergize the Vote organizer at Portland Community College-Sylvania. "Now we’ve got three weeks to seal the deal by making sure all those young people cast their ballots by November 2."
Since August, the ReEnergize the Vote campaign has registered more than 27,000 young voters on 25 campuses who either voted for the first time in 2008 or will vote for the first time in 2010.
On Tuesday, ReEnergize the Vote inaugurated the second phase of its campaign, a GOTV effort based on intensive, personal contacts with young voters on dozens of college campuses, in urban neighborhoods, and online.
Over the next three weeks, ReEnergize the Vote organizers plan to collect more than 45,000 "Pledges to Vote," powerful commitments from young voters to go out and vote this year. ReEnergize the Vote organizers will also talk to thousands of young voters about Early Voting, polling locations, and voting procedures on Election Day. Using online tools, customized text messages, and other cutting-edge technology, ReEnergize the Vote will send voting reminders, directions to polling locations, and other information to young voters.
Beginning on October 30, the ReEnergize the Vote GOTV effort will conclude with a surge of activity including Halloween "Trick or Vote" events and other efforts to remind tens of thousands of newly-registered voters, Pledge-signers, and general student and youth voter populations, to vote.
Despite speculation that turnout among young voters in the 2010 midterm elections will fall short of the record 22 million young voters in the 2008 national elections, ReEnergize the Vote and Sierra Student Coalition organizers report that the energy and enthusiasm of young voters is high.
"We’ve heard from so many young Americans who understand the importance of civic engagement and political activism,” said Jordan Butler, ReEnergize the Vote campus organizer in Reno, Nevada. "I know that despite the obstacles — apathy, dissatisfaction with politics, hopelessness — young voters will make their voices heard on November 2."
A bipartisan poll commissioned in mid-September by Rock the Vote found that 77 percent of the 44 million eligible voters aged 18-29 are very likely, or somewhat likely, to vote. The poll also found that more than 83% of young voters believe that they have the power to change things in this country, despite concerns about the slow pace of change in Washington.
For more information about ReEnergize the Vote, please